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Montreal Canadiens place Xavier Ouellet, Louie Belpedio on waivers

The pair will likely play big roles for the Laval Rocket this season.

Edmonton Oilers v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens have started their roster cuts, and have placed defencemen Xavier Ouellet and Louie Belpedio on waivers on Thursday.

Waivers are now listed at 2:00 p.m. Eastern instead of 12:00, a change that started this year. Both Ouellet and Belpedio will be assigned to the Laval Rocket of the American Hockey League should they clear.

Ouellet played in one pre-season game for the Canadiens, while Belpedio only played in the team’s scrimmage. Montreal has two back-to-back games Friday and Saturday and the Rocket open camp on Monday where they are expected to have around 30 players.

Ouellet, 28, has been the Rocket’s captain for the last three seasons, and it’s a role he’s likely to play again should he clear waivers. He has played 37 regular season games for the Canadiens over three seasons plus 10 playoff games.

Belpedio was signed this off-season and was always going to provide more depth to the Rocket. The 25-year-old has four NHL games in his career.

With Ouellet and Belpedio cut, there remain 66 players in Canadiens training camp.